The rejoicing of others should cause rejoicing in you. When God moves in a great way in someone else, do you rejoice with them? Does it cause you to reflect and discover reasons to also rejoice? Does everything praiseworthy have to originate in your life or can it start with others and move you to praise? Psalm 66:1-7 shows us the praise of the whole earth, which brings about Israel’s praise (vv. 8-12), which brings about praise from the individual psalmist (vv. 13-20). When other churches praise the Lord for what He has done in them, it should cause my church to praise. When my church praises the Lord, it should cause me to praise. Praise should be that contagious! Jealousy, pride, strife, and a competitive spirit can keep you from praising the Lord with others. If God moves in all the churches in all the earth, I should be rejoicing. If God moves in areas of my church that I’m not serving or connected, I should be rejoicing. If I can’t rejoice, something has blocked my view of God – and it’s probably my selfishness, bitterness, or arrogance because God is always at work and always deserves the praise! Maybe the reason you can’t see God moving around you is you?
When God defeated the Assyrians in Isaiah 36-37, he killed 185,000 who were against Israel as they slept. We find Hezekiah praying before this, saying to God, “You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made the heavens and the earth” (Isaiah 37:16). He asked for victory “so that all kingdoms of the earth may know the Lord is the only God” (v. 20). Hezekiah’s prayers were not just for himself and his people, for all people to praise the Lord. We should ask God to move in mighty ways in other churches and when He does, rejoice! Some don’t realize that a move in another church or person affects them if they will rejoice with them. Some are bitter God moves in others. Some are selfish, only asking God to move in their personal situation. I’ll never forget two people cornering me one day, wondering why we weren’t doing a seemingly successful thing that was happening in another church across town. All they could talk about, in jealousy within them and bitterness towards me, was the other church. Sadly, they couldn’t rejoice with the other church and celebrate their victory, which technically is the same team – we are all the body of Christ! When God moves in us or in others, we should what others to “come in see what the Lord has done” (Psalm 66:5).
The psalmist recalls the victories of Israel’s past that he did not experience, naming the crossing of the Jordan and the escape from Egypt (vv. 6-7). We must rejoice in the past move of God we did not experience. He recalled how God moved in things it seemed a little closer to home, referring to how He kept their feet from slipping, brought them through prison, through the trials of fire and water, into a place of abundance (vv. 9-12). This remembrance of God’s move in the past in others caused present-day praise in himself (vv. 13-20). Stop and praise God for working in others. Praise Him for what He has done in the past. Now ask Him to work wonder personally in you out of a pure heart (vv. 18-19).
- Can you rejoice when others succeed? (other churches, ministries, people, families, etc.)
- What is your initial reaction and emotion when God moves in others? Is it praise or jealousy? Is it worship or selfishness?
- Is your heart pure when you ask God to move in you? Is it more about your name and accomplishments or for His praise and fame?
Lord, thank You for moving in the lives of others. Move in me as well. I will rejoice when others are saved and take their next steps in Christ. I celebrate the growth of Your Kingdom. I pray my heart is pure in my request to move in my life, my ministry, my family, and my church. May it not be out of jealousy so my name is mentioned. May it not be out of selfishness. You will not hear in prayer the heart full of sin (Psalm 66:18-19). May praise be to Your name, not mine (v. 20). In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.